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2020 has been an unimaginable year for each and every one of us. There is not one left untouched by our world’s current turn of events. However, God has been planting seeds of faith inside of me long before I faced our current uncertainty- so that in ALL things, I would know Who it is that is powerful and worthy of ALL praise.  

I think most people have an idea of the plan- or perhaps want- their lives to go. I know I did. Growing up in a Christian home and surrounded by amazing families/individuals who helped to mold my dreams, I imagined going to college, getting married, and starting a family- throw a career in there, loving Jesus, and adopting children with special needs- and that about sums it up. In a (completely-shocking-to-me) turn of events, all of my life’s hopes and dreams were blown out of the water when I found out I was pregnant.  

Not just pregnant, but pregnant and unwed. Pregnant by a man I did not have a relationship with. No- no- no. THIS was nowhere close to how my life was supposed to turn out! This was other people’s stories- not mine. Me, being a single mom? Inconceivable. The blueprint was to find an amazing Christian man, get married, and then start having a family. How could I accept how off-script my new life was? … a complete shift in the life I would have ever planned for myself.  

Ashamed. Guilty. Afraid. Unbelief. Shock. Fear of the future.  

Those emotions were my closest companions in the early days. I am beyond blessed to have friends who love me like family and were there to support me from day 1. My best friend’s husband sent me a list of pregnancy resource centers in Nashville with Hope Clinic among the list. I originally came to Hope Clinic for my first ultrasound – to confirm that this new love of mine was truly there, and growing healthy inside of me. It was that first ultrasound where my fears and shock assuaged to a timid joy about becoming a mother. Though I came in for just an ultrasound, I continued to come back as I got connected to the Bridge program with a counselor. What an amazing resource to help me during a profound and scary start to my journey of parenting.  

This source of initial fear and sadness has turned into INCOMPREHENSIBLE JOY in my life. You see, God has taught me (and is teaching me) so many life-changing truths from all that has happened. He’s taught me that Jesus covers all of my deepest shame and calls me back home to God each and every time. That I can hold my head high because I am His. And that all things are working together for good in my life. He’s shown me that I need to hang tight, because the story He is writing is so far off of the one I would’ve written, but it is exponentially more richlasting and beautiful than I could’ve imagined.  

Getting to process all that God has done and is doing has changed my entire inner life. I’ve spent the past year and some change working on shame, the truths of God, forgiveness and many other weighty, life-altering subjects in counseling with Alex. It has been invaluable getting to walk through those hard-to-navigate waters with somebody unbiased and unrelated to me. I’ve enjoyed counseling in the past, but getting to freely participate in counseling throughout these early days of parenthood has felt like a lifeline in a lot of ways. A gift that God has given me for support along the way. And nowall of my despair has been washed away and I consider myself the world’s most  MOST BLESSED PERSON ALIVE to be my son’s mother. I’m blown away each day by the high honor I have been given to know, love, and help shepherd this amazing son of mine. There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe the JOY that fills my heart towards my son and the privilege it is to be his mother.  

Is it hard being a single mom? At times lonely? Tiring? Sometimes scary? Financially challenging? YES! I will never downplay those realities (single moms are the TRUE SUPER HEROES)! But, would I ever change it in a million years? A thousand times over: NO! 

Having my son, besides Jesus, is my life’s GREATEST JOY!  

Throw in life-threatening skin cancer this year, the HARDEST job I have ever had, being unemployed due to COVID-19, and a scary medical event with my son– and you know what?  

God is working in me the faith to count it all joy.  

Because, that’s just what God does. 

Makes beauty from ashes. Causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. Brings us into deeper realms of faith and trust in Him. And gives us a more beautiful life than we could’ve dared imagine for ourselves.  

I’m truly the lucky one.  

Thank you, Hope Clinic, for choosing to walk alongside me on this formative- and emotional!- part of my journey.  

God knew we needed each other.